Otitis media is a significant health issue, especially for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Some studies suggest that up to 91% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in remote communities present with otitis media. Long term otitis media can result in hearing impairment, and impact on a child’s speech, language acquisition and learning, as well as behavioural problems affecting a child’s social, physical, emotional and educational development. Severe otitis media can result in permanent hearing loss.
These guidelines aim to improve the prevention, early detection and management of Otitis Media in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the primary healthcare setting and improve the long-term health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. This updated version, prepared by an expert team in ear health led by the Menzies School of Health Research, is based on the 2001 Guidelines and relevant research studies published since 2001.